Logistics Execs Eye AI, Machine Learning
May 26, 2021
New research from Blue Yonder has identified the most
pressing priorities and investments of today’s logistics
professionals post-COVID-19. The research reveals that
logistics executives plan to maintain and optimize
convenient fulfillment options (38%) and implement
and/or enhance their warehouse management systems (WMS)
and cloud infrastructure (48%). The research also
reveals that 57% of logistics executives plan to invest
in more sustainable upstream operations (materials
sourcing, suppliers, and manufacturing) to maximize
sustainability throughout the supply chain.
Convenient, Efficient Fulfillment is Top Priority for Enhancing Sustainability and Consumer Experiences
While logistics professionals plan to maintain and optimize popular fulfillment options, such as buy online, pickup in-store (BOPIS), curbside pickup, and delivery, they also plan to offer consumers flexible ordering options to boost sustainability.
The pandemic pushed consumers toward more convenient fulfillment options for products and services. With disruptions impacting the supply chain over the past 12 months, consumers’ high expectations for service levels have not wavered, forcing retailers and manufacturers to maintain efficient, fast fulfillment. 2020 was about speed and availability, but 2021 will clear a place at the table for sustainability.
Logistics Technology Investment Key to Meeting Demand and Reducing Costs
To meet growing demands while reducing costs, nearly half (48%) of logistics executives plan to implement and/or enhance their warehouse management systems (WMS) and cloud infrastructure in the next 12 months. Logistics executives also plan to implement/enhance plans with the following:
“As many companies were ill-prepared for the mounting pressures of delivering enhanced consumer experiences caused by pandemic-induced e-commerce surges, logistics executives are turning their energy and resources to meeting new and rising expectations,” said Fab Brasca, group vice president, Global Solutions, Blue Yonder. “To compete in this consumer-centric world, companies will have to adopt technologies that not only provide efficiency, but real-time visibility to meet skyrocketing customer expectations.”
Companies Reinstate Sustainability Efforts Paused During the Pandemic
The pandemic forced both companies and individuals to rethink and reposition their sustainability actions. Global shutdowns pulled back the curtain regarding the environmental impacts of manufacturing, transportation, and consumption habits. However, most companies were forced to reallocate sustainability resources to stay afloat.
Jumping Through Hiring Hoops: Technology, Training and Lenient Hiring to Help Combat Labor Shortage
To meet fulfillment goals amidst a labor shortage, logistics executives aim to fill the workforce void with a multipronged approach focused on strategic technology investments, and more flexible hiring and scheduling:
“The perfect storm of historically-high unemployment rates, multiple rounds of stimulus funds, and surging e-commerce orders continues to challenge logistics hiring managers like never before,” said Raj Patel, senior director, 3PL Industry Strategy, Blue Yonder. “Blue Yonder’s workforce and labor management solutions are designed to address the critical retention of skilled labor while creating higher levels of employee engagement and operational excellence in today’s competitive workforce market.”